BAXTER — You can't keep a good -- or bad -- man down, especially if that man is Michael Myers.

The fictional serial killer returns to the big screen with co-star Jamie Lee Curtis in “Halloween Kills,” the 12th installment in the slasher film franchise originated by John Carpenter in 1978.

Michael Myers is a fictional serial killer who has a returning and starring role in the "Halloween" slasher film franchise. The brute of a man with the mind of a child who wears a mask has been characterized as "pure evil."
Contributed / Justin Caldarola via Unsplash.com
Michael Myers is a fictional serial killer who has a returning and starring role in the "Halloween" slasher film franchise. The brute of a man with the mind of a child who wears a mask has been characterized as "pure evil." Contributed / Justin Caldarola via Unsplash.com

The new horror movie playing at the Lakes 12 Theatre in Baxter and the Sunset Cinema in Jenkins was released theatrically on Friday, Oct. 15, just in time for Halloween.

“Halloween Kills” is a direct sequel by David Gordon Green to his 2018 film “Halloween,” not to be confused with Rob Zombie’s 2007 remake of the 1978 film of the same name by Carpenter.

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“Halloween Kills” picks up exactly where Green’s previous installment in the franchise ended, with an injured Laurie Strode, played by Curtis, and her family rushed to the hospital and away from her home where they believed they had trapped Myers to be burned alive.

But as moviegoers who have seen any of the films in the “Halloween” franchise know all too well the unstoppable, unrelenting and uncaring boogeyman of the fictional town of Haddonfield, Illinois, is a force — possibly even supernatural in nature — to be reckoned with time and again.


“Evil dies tonight.”

— Laurie Strode


“The Strode women join a group of other survivors of Michael’s first rampage who decide to take matters into their own hands, forming a vigilante mob that sets out to hunt Michael down, once and for all,” according to the official synopsis of the Universal Pictures motion picture website.

Strode and others exclaim in the movie, “Evil dies tonight!”

A pair of jack-o'-lanterns is a common sight during Halloween.
Contributed / David Menidrey via Unsplash.com
A pair of jack-o'-lanterns is a common sight during Halloween. Contributed / David Menidrey via Unsplash.com

The popularity of the mute, coverall-wearing Myers rivals that of fictional serial killer Jason Voorhees, the hockey goalie mask-donning man with superhuman strength from the “Friday the 13th” horror franchise, which was created to cash in on the success of the 1978 “Halloween.”

“Halloween Kills” features throwbacks to the Carpenter film with the actors who originated the roles in his 1978 movie, such as Marion Chambers, the former assistant to Myers’ psychiatrist Dr. Sam Loomis; former Sheriff Leigh Brackett; and Lindsey Wallace, a child survivor.

The “Halloween” franchise is notable for the mask Myers wears, which was made from a cast of William Shatner's face. (The “Star Trek” actor became the oldest person to travel to space last week as a guest on Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin rocket.) And Carpenter’s chilling Myers theme song.

Zombie created a remake of the 1978 film that was released in 2007. A sequel to that film that he also wrote, directed and produced was released two years later. Neither of Zombie’s movies featured Curtis but did include her character, which was played by another actress.

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The original 1981 sequel to Carpenter’s 1978 film reveals a strong connection between Strode, the heroic babysitter, and Myers, which may act as an explanation for his timeless fixation on her even though he killed his sister Judith as a child and was committed to a sanitorium.

Green’s remake in 2018 and his sequel “Halloween Kills” makes no reference to the bond that ties Myers and Strode that was included as part of the plots of Carpenter’s and Zombie’s contributions to the slasher film franchise.

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The theatrical release of “Halloween Kills” was delayed a year by the coronavirus pandemic. But the nearly two-hour movie, which is rated R, is disturbingly graphic in its violence. “Halloween Ends,” a direct sequel, is slated to be released on Oct. 14, 2022.

“Halloween Kills” currently holds a 39% approval rating among critics and a 71% approval rating among audiences at Rotten Tomatoes, a review-aggregation website for film and television. The sequel, however, has smashed box office expectations despite the critics.

The RottenTomatoes.com critics consensus reads: “‘Halloween Kills’ should satisfy fans in search of brute slasher thrills, but in terms of advancing the franchise, it's a bit less than the sum of its bloody parts.”

FRANK LEE may be reached at 218-855-5863 or at frank.lee@brainerddispatch.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/bdfilmforum.